Dominic Cummings stated he acted “reasonably and legally” when he travelled greater than 260 miles from his London dwelling, regardless of journey restrictions being in place. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is among the many high-profile minister to have backed the PM’s high aide, whereas Number 10 has additionally insisted he was appearing throughout the Covid-19 tips as a result of he feared for the welfare of his little one.
Asked if he would take into account his place, he stated he wouldn’t. It got here as the previous police chief in Durham instructed the Guardian: “It’s obvious to anyone this breaks the rules. So it should be especially clear to the people who created them.”
Meanwhile, authorities managing seashores and magnificence spots are bracing for a heavy haul of tourists anticipated to place social distancing guidelines beneath pressure on one other heat Bank Holiday weekend, whereas the official UK coronavirus loss of life toll has handed 36,500.
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Speaking to reporters exterior his home, Dominic Cummings stated he is not going to be reconsidering his place.
“Obviously not,” he instructed journalists.
“You’re not going to consider resigning? The public are probably very angry,” one of many reporters stated.
He replied: “You guys are probably as right about that as you were about Brexit – remember how right you all were about that?”
‘Mr Cummings would have been occupied with discovering the very best choice to assist his son’
Asked what made Mr Cummings completely different from different folks in senior positions who had resigned over their lockdown actions, Mr Shapps stated: “I think there is every difference.”
He steered that what “most people would probably be thinking” concerning the problem was “what would I do in that situation?”
Mr Shapps steered Mr Cummings would have been occupied with discovering “the best possible option” to assist his son.
He added: “I would draw this distinction: this wasn’t sort of visiting a holiday home or going to visit someone, this was to stay put for 14 days, to remain in isolation to get over what I understand was quite a significant bout of illness from coronavirus, and then to be able to return to London only when well.”
Grant Shapps right this moment claimed it’s as much as every particular person to resolve how greatest to observe lockdown measures, as he joined a refrain of assist for Dominic Cummings over his journey to Durham throughout lockdown.
Deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries stated travelling regardless of lockdown measures might be justified if there was an “extreme risk to life”.
Asked if Mr Cummings’ actions undermine the “stay at home” message, Dr Harries refused to touch upon the particular incident.
She instructed the press convention: “In relation to the recommendation to the general public, it’s completely clear that public well being steering is, in case you’re symptomatic you keep at dwelling, take your self out of society as shortly as you’ll be able to with your loved ones and keep there, except there may be excessive danger to life.
“That is a extremely necessary message, folks have been actually good at doing that, however it’s important that we proceed to do this going ahead.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has expressed his assist for Dominic Cummings.
The Department of Health stated it’s unable to offer figures for the variety of folks examined for coronavirus each total and within the 24-hour interval as much as 9am on Saturday resulting from “technical difficulties”.
Here’s right this moment’s figures added to our graphs. The damaged blue line illustrates the rolling seven-day pattern
Labour has additionally written to the top of the civil service to name for an “urgent inquiry” into Mr Cummings’ actions.
In a letter to Sir Mark Sedwill, shadow Cabinet Office minister Rachel Reeves stated:
The British folks have made necessary and painful sacrifices to assist the nationwide effort, together with being away from household in occasions of want.
It is subsequently important that the Government can reassure the general public that its most senior figures have been adhering to the identical guidelines as everybody else.”
Labour claims Number 10’s explanations for Mr Cummings’s behaviour “raised more questions than they answer” together with when the Prime Minister was made conscious of his determination to journey from London to Durham throughout lockdown.
The letter provides: “The British folks don’t count on there to be one rule for them and one other rule for the Prime Minister’s most senior adviser.”
Labour ramps up the strain with requires an pressing inquiry
Labour has responded to the Grant Shapps Downing Street press briefing by calling for an pressing inquiry.
The get together is following within the footsteps of the SNP, who additionally wrote to the top of the civil service, asking for a overview.
Deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries stated: “All of the guidance has a common sense element to it, which includes safeguarding around adults or children.”
He added: “The steering says in case you’re dwelling with youngsters maintain following this recommendation to one of the best of your means.
“However, we’re conscious that not all these measures might be doable relying subsequently on circumstances.”
He continued: “In different phrases if you’re ready the place you’ve acquired a younger little one on this case, four-years-old and you might be anxious concerning the welfare of that little one and your means to throw round them the broader community of assist then clearly being someplace the place different family members can help, by which I imply on this case youthful different family members, then that is perhaps one of the best place so that you can settle and keep all through the time that you just’re in poor health.
“And I believe that’s all that’s occurred on this case.”
Mr Shapps stated Mr Cummings went to Durham as a result of “that’s where the family was”.
“As we all do in moments of crisis we always seek to have our family, those who can assist us around us and I think that’s all that has happened in this case.”
He stated he didn’t know the “personal circumstances” of the Cummings household that prevented them searching for assist nearer to dwelling.
Under fireplace from journalists over the Dominic Cummings 260-mile journey, Mr Shapps says: “You should follow the guidance to the best of your ability…it’s for an individual to make the decision”.
Pressed on what the foundations imply within the wake of the Cummings lockdown row, deputy chief medical officer for England Jenny Harries says it “remains stay at home and self-isolate” except “there is an extreme risk to life”.
Asked whether or not the police spoke to Mr Cummings’ household, Mr Shapps says: “I’m undecided the place the confusion in that is available in, however we’ve acquired that in back and white in his assertion”. He cites and reads off the sooner Downing Street assertion that the police didn’t communicate to Mr Cummings or his household, regardless of Durham Constabulary suggesting they did.
Asked when the PM knew that Dominic Cummings had travelled to Durham, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps says he does not know.
Pressed on why Mr Cummings needed to journey 260 miles to get his little one out of the home, Mr Shapps says he “went to where the family was” and provides he returned to London for work “which is allowed”. He provides it was a “straightforward arrangement” for Mr Cummings to remain in Durham.
Second query: the place does it say within the steering which you can preempt a scenario the place you would possibly want assist?
Jenny Harries says “all of the guidance has a common sense element to it, which includes safeguarding adults and children.” She says that the “interpretation of that is probably for others”.
The questions from journalists are starting. The BBC is first up, asking Grant Shapps and Jenny Harries to make clear whether or not these with signs can journey to aged family in a nod to the Cummings row.
Mr Shapps says: “The important thing is that everyone stays in the same place during lockdown”, including that the Prime Minister “knew he was staying put” whereas in Durham. Mr Shapps doesn’t point out the 260-mile journey he made to get there.
Jenny Harries, deputy chief medical officer for England, says of the most recent loss of life toll chart: “We can see that the deaths are starting continuously to come down… the rolling average is continuing to come down and we will be looking to expect that to come down further.”